Is it bad manners to discuss money?

Somebody asked me this question recently – “is it bad manners to discuss money with people?”

Now, I know there’s a school of thought that says one shouldn’t ever discuss ‘sex, religion or politics’. Sometimes it would seem that the topic of money is included in that as well because it’s a topic that people just don’t talk about. It’s almost like a ‘social taboo’ and therein lays one of the problems that face our society.

Because nobody ‘talks’ about money there are many people that base their opinions and sometimes facts on assumptions and perceptions.

Which brings me to another point – if I had a dollar for every time that I’ve heard the expression “I’ve got wealthy friends” then I’m sure I’d be wealthy too.

Sadly, the fact of the matter is that we just don’t ever discuss money – not with our families and certainly not amongst our friends. What this leads to is that many people have no commonsense financial literacy and are therefore easy prey for all sorts of unscrupulous ‘get-rich-quick’ money deals.

For some people, the only time they ever hear anybody discussing money (and how to make it etc) is when they’ve been roped into one of those ‘retire early’ type seminars run by ‘spruikers’. And then, because these fast talking types appear to make sense ( and they would if you’d never heard this type of sale-pitch before) the poor innocents get caught up and are led along like lambs to the slaughter. They lose their money, their pride and any hope of an open discussion about money is now gone! 

Like many people, growing up in a family where there was not a lot of money meant that if we ever discussed the topic, it was probably more along the lines of how to make it, rather than how to save it or even how to manage it.

When times were tough, (and that was most of the time) the easy answer to a request for something was ‘No, I don’t have any money’. As a child, we learned to accept that response and we also learned the value of rare treats. Money was something that didn’t get squandered.

But, we didn’t really discuss money. 

When was the last time you sat around at a bbq and seriously talked about your mortgage, or the level of your debt?  You probably haven’t and you probably can’t imagine ever doing that. And right now, there’s a part of me that suddenly feels that I’ve just got myself taken off the invitation lists of all the upcoming parties.

Of course, there’s always a time and a place for a ‘money discussion’ and there are a lot of social events where it’s certainly not really a good idea to initiate such a debate.

But if you don’t ever have this conversation – then how the hell are you going to learn anything about the topic?


(c) Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch


And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions, you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)

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